Sparks' Deja Vu Return Lifts Rocky to Win Over MSU Northern - KULR8.com | Montana's News Leader | Billings, MT

Sparks' Deja Vu Return Lifts Rocky to Win Over MSU Northern

Posted: Updated:

It took 307 yards rushing and an 86-yard kickoff return for a touchdown for the Rocky Mountain College football team defeat Montana State University-Northern, 32-25, in Frontier Conference action at Herb Klindt Field on Saturday afternoon.

The 307 rushing yards from Rocky Mountain (1-1, 1-0 Frontier) is the most by a Battlin’ Bears team since November 15, 2014. Mason Melby ran for 149 yards and Sam Sparks added 114 for the Bears. They are the first Rocky duo to run for 100-plus yards in the same game since that same outing nearly three years ago.

The pair also played a big part in the win on Saturday. Melby appeared to put the game away with a 71-yard scoring run with six seconds to play in the third quarter that put the bears in front 24-13. It was the third score of the day for the junior to make him the first Rocky player with three rushing TDs in the same game since 2010.

MSU-Northern (0-1, 0-1 FC) didn’t go away and when Tommy Wilson found Beau Wilhelm in the corner of the end zone, the Lights had taken the lead at 25-25 with 1:17 remaining in the game.

On the ensuing kickoff, Sparks failed to catch the ball cleanly and regained possession at his own 14-yardline. The junior then took off down the right sideline, making the kicker miss at midfield, and sprinted into the end zone for the go ahead score. Max Gray would score on the 2-point conversion and the Bears led 32-25 with 1:02 on the clock.

Northern would move to the Rocky 27 – converting a 4th-and-10 along the way – before Terrance Williams came up with an interception in the end zone to snap the Bears 5-game losing streak dating back to last season.

Williams had two interceptions on the day, the first two of his career. He also recorded a pair of tackles.

Rocky finished the day with 414 yards of total offense and they averaged 6.3 yards per play. They recorded 18 first downs and went 5 of 15 on third down.

Jacob Bakken was 11 of 20 for 107 yards and one interception. Gray had four catches for 45 yards.

Paris Wilcox led the Rocky defense with 10 tackles, including one tackle-for-loss. Dallas Mack, Kirk Durtsche, and Ryder Rice had seven tackles each.

Wilson led Northern with his 27 of 48 passing for 297 yards and three touchdowns. Marvin Williams made six catches for 86 yards and one score.

The Bears will now head back to the road for a game at (RV) Carroll College on September 9 in Helena. Kickoff for the week three contest is scheduled for 1 p.m. MT from Nelson Stadium.

  • College SportsMore>>

  • Grizzly Sports Report, 9-25-17

    Monday, September 25 2017 11:07 PM EDT2017-09-26 03:07:21 GMT
    Head Coach Bob Stitt and Running Back Elijah Lee join host Shaun Rainey on this weeks show to discuss the tough loss to Eastern Washington and moving on to face Portland State. Riley Corcoran has the call of the game featuring the hail mary to Justin Calhoun. Ben Wineman updates us on all the other fall sports at UM. 
    Head Coach Bob Stitt and Running Back Elijah Lee join host Shaun Rainey on this weeks show to discuss the tough loss to Eastern Washington and moving on to face Portland State. Riley Corcoran has the call of the game featuring the hail mary to Justin Calhoun. Ben Wineman updates us on all the other fall sports at UM. 
  • Crowd Surfing 9/24

    Crowd Surfing 9/24

    Monday, September 25 2017 12:50 AM EDT2017-09-25 04:50:10 GMT

    A cool down in Montana this past week before a warm up this week is the subject of this week's Crowd Surfing.

    A cool down in Montana this past week before a warm up this week is the subject of this week's Crowd Surfing.

  • Griz can't hold second half lead, lose to EWU 48-41

    Griz can't hold second half lead, lose to EWU 48-41

    Sunday, September 24 2017 1:05 AM EDT2017-09-24 05:05:05 GMT

    Things were looking great going into halftime for the Montana Grizzlies. Up 24-6 on the number 11th ranked Eastern Washington Eagles, the Griz were feeling good. 

    Things were looking great going into halftime for the Montana Grizzlies. Up 24-6 on the number 11th ranked Eastern Washington Eagles, the Griz were feeling good. 

  • College SportsCollegeMore>>

  • Grizzly Sports Report, 9-25-17

    Monday, September 25 2017 11:07 PM EDT2017-09-26 03:07:21 GMT
    Head Coach Bob Stitt and Running Back Elijah Lee join host Shaun Rainey on this weeks show to discuss the tough loss to Eastern Washington and moving on to face Portland State. Riley Corcoran has the call of the game featuring the hail mary to Justin Calhoun. Ben Wineman updates us on all the other fall sports at UM. 
    Head Coach Bob Stitt and Running Back Elijah Lee join host Shaun Rainey on this weeks show to discuss the tough loss to Eastern Washington and moving on to face Portland State. Riley Corcoran has the call of the game featuring the hail mary to Justin Calhoun. Ben Wineman updates us on all the other fall sports at UM. 
  • Gubrud honored by Big Sky after record-breaking performance

    Gubrud honored by Big Sky after record-breaking performance

    Gubrud threw for shool-record 549 yards. Photo: EWU AthleticsGubrud threw for shool-record 549 yards. Photo: EWU Athletics

    A school-record 549-yard passing performance – both as a team and by Gubrud – helped EWU extend its Big Sky Conference winning streak to nine games last week.

    A school-record 549-yard passing performance – both as a team and by Gubrud – helped EWU extend its Big Sky Conference winning streak to nine games last week.

  • Crowd Surfing 9/24

    Crowd Surfing 9/24

    Monday, September 25 2017 12:50 AM EDT2017-09-25 04:50:10 GMT

    A cool down in Montana this past week before a warm up this week is the subject of this week's Crowd Surfing.

    A cool down in Montana this past week before a warm up this week is the subject of this week's Crowd Surfing.